with Roman Diaz, Encyclopedia of Chavez, Candelaria, Peter J. Garcia, and Arturo J.

Aldama (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004) "Rumba,"

Latino· Popular


Culture Eds. Cordelia


Rumba. First documented in the 18505, rumba is the result of colonial trade
and the synthesis of the quotidian exchange between the descendants of captive Africans and the dominant Spanish culture. Rumba is an example of Cuba's Afro-European process of transculturation. It has been considered Cuba's first musica criolla (creole music), a native music characteristic of the Caribbean, and the word is now synonymous with "party" in Latin American and Caribbean countries like Panama, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Like tumba and mahumba, rumba's general meaning is that of festive celebration and collective social gathering. Rumba's cousins are Brazil's Samba de (rada) (see Samba), the Colombian "cumbia, the Peruvian samba cueta, the Panamanian tamborito, and the Jamaican menta; all are of secular character in which the male courts or pursues the female through dance. While the word rumba originated in Spain, it does not refer to a Spanish dance. Rather, rumba was used as a sexist and classist pejorative to refer to women of "la vida alegre" (the happy life), probably sex workers, "mujeres de rumbo" (lascivious women). In Cuba, rumba became a designation of frivolity and described Afro-descendant fiestas or celebrations organized by the lowest social strata of the time. Thus, the name "rumba" implied and marked its practitioners with prejudice in its very conception in spite of being considered one of the most important cultural manifestations of Cuban origin. Rumba's .ethnic routes trace the Spanish, British, and Portuguese slave trades that brought men, women, and children of different African cultural regions into Cuba. Between 1512 and 1865, people were taken by the slave trade from an area in the West African Coast between the Gulf of Guinea and what is now the Angola Republic. In addition to the 525,828 registered slaves imported during that period, another 200,000 Africans may have been brought to Cuba in the ongoing illegal contraband that continued through 1875, the height of the island's agricultural development. Slavery was aboI-




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ished in 1880 but it actually ended with passage of the Patronato law on October 7, 1886. The ritual musics of these diverse ethnic groups were characterized by complicated, syncopated rhythmic structures that-in contrast to European convention-emphasized the improvisation of the lower-register instruments. Consequently, higher-pitched instruments passed to a second.ary role known as "accompaniment" within the European musical concept . It is possible that the most direct connection to rumba is the Bantu culture that inhabited the region of the Congo River Delta. Rumba 'also includes elements from the Ganga culture from Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and northern Liberia. In Cuba, however, the ethnic mix and cultural exchange produced a phenomenon of sound fields inversion: the lower-pitched instruments took over the continuous rhythmic patterns, while the higher-pitched became the ones that improvised, thus taking the weight of creating and defining melody. This is why rumba can be understood as a musical form that incorporates African music concepts of interpretation but with an instrumental fusion distributed according to the logic of the European musical discourse. Also, there is an evident influence of Spanish Cante Jondo (Deep Song) in rumba's lyrics mixed with onomatopoeic phrases, ideas, and forms of African origin. However, rumba's origins can be located both in Havana's predominantly black, underprivileged urban areas and inner-city zones and within the semirural areas of Mantanzas that surrounded the sugar mills, the centrales azucareros. Rumba's interpretation is based in the percussion of drums or wood boxes, sticks (or claves), and metal spoons. The African contribution is in its rhythm. In most forms of rumba, the singer starts the song with a call sung to the people, known as the Diana, which also establishes the keynote for the responding chorus. After the Diana, the singer begins the lyrical portion of the song, based on a ten-lined poetic theme, or ,.. ecima, that produces rumba's d rhythmic climax. Subsequently, the capetillo is the responding chorus, which serves as the cue for dancers to enter the circle. The capetillo establishes a call-and-response relationship with the lead singer, who is now free to improvise his lines. During colonial times (known as tiempo espana) rumberos used two wood boxes of different dimensions, built from the thick wood of catfish boxes-for the larger box-and the fine wood of candle boxes-for the smaller one. The biggest, lowest-pitched box, or cajon, maintained the rhythm via repeated patterns and functioned as the tumbadora. The smaller box with the highest and brightest pitch, or quinto, served to improvise rhythmic fragments based on the musician's individual tastes and skills. Rumba's critical element of improvisation depended on such rustic instruments· as the sideboard of a cabinet, an emptied drawer or the catfish and candle light boxes themselves, a cantina's (tavern or other drinking establishment) long bar, glass bottles, frying pans. In short, any sonorous surface. By the 19308, these rustic elements transformed; the cajones were replaced by the popular Cuban tumbadora, internationally known as the



Rumba "conga." Each drum acquired the name of. the wood box it replaced, in ascending order of pitch: tumbadora, tres-dos (or tres golpes), and quinto. The variants of rumba that remain in practice are yambu (box rumba), guaguanco (popular form), and columbias (country or rural form). The yambu and guaguanc6's sources were Havana's cores de clave (choruses of clave), and Matanzas' bandos de calle (Street Bands). Both took place when the cabildos-mutual help associations made up of primarily free men of specific African ethnic groups who performed their music during street processions either celebrating their anniversaries or Christmas festivities. It is likely that the coros are as old as the cabildos and were music groups dedicated to collective secular singing composed by Afro-descendants, criollos (born on the island). While it is possible that the organization of the coros indeed maintained or inherited some of the cabildos's structure, the coros represented neighborhoods, not African nations as the cabildos did. Cabildos were self-help institutions and societies primarily concerned with maintaining social cohesion within and between the members of the same nation. They promoted and sustained their culture through secular and religious practices. For instance, Havana's municipality authorized the cabildos to use public spaces from 9 A.M. to sunset for their processions and comparsas celebrating Dia de Reyes (Day of Kings) on January 6. Some of these cabildos were the precursors of famous coros such as El Arpa de Oro (The Golden Harp). These choral institutions emphasized the vocal and poetic quality of their compositions to the degree that they had to register them with the "Lapiz Rojo" (Red Pencil) Tribunal, which had the power to approve the quality of the songs and authorize their public performance. They also had a "censor" who corrected the lyrics and the decimas'« measurement. The coros de claves and bandos de calle included as many as 100 voices and held formal competitions. Among the most recognized clarinas were Paulina Rivera and La Valenciana; among the decimistas were Ignacio Pineiro and joseito Agustin Bonilla. Between 1900 and 1914, some of the most famous claves were "EI Paso Franco" (The French Pass) from Havana's Del Pilar (From the Basin), and "Los Roncos" (The Hoarse Ones, founded by Ignacio Piiieiro) from the Pueblo Nuevo neighborhood. Some sources establish these gatherings as what eventually transformed into rumba events. Others separate the coros de clave and bandos de clave from the subsequent formation of coros de rumba. An important group that continues this tradition is Cora Folkl6rico Cubano, directed by Pedro Pablo "Aspirina" Rodriguez with the cast of Guillermo Triana, Maximino Duquesne, Lazaro Riso, and Zuzana "Beba" Calzada, cofounder in 1953 with Odilio Urfe. gestun in the with c agains and sy the sa: the ya

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The yambu, or rumba de cajon (box rumba), is the oldest form still in practice, and the Yuka dance is its oldest antecedent. The yambu is a dance representation of love, a canto (song) of fecundity. The male, with smooth

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gestures and disguised intentions, symbolically tries to posses the female. But in the yambu no se vacuna (there is no vaccination)-the female can dance with careless cadence, unconcerned, as she does not have to protect herself against the known vacunado, a male's pelvic gesture typical of the guaguanco and symbolic of "possession." While the male's intentions to possess her are the same as in the guaguanco, in the yambi; form, he conceals them. Like the yambu, mimetic rumbas also took place during the so-called tiempo espana. While yambu served as a couple's dance, during the colonial era it also functioned as the rhythm of many known mimetic rumbas that satirized the customs of the period. Guaguanc6 This is rumba's most contemporary modality and internationally the most known form. The yambu is the antecedent of the guaguanco because the yambu's popularity produced structural modifications in its singing and instrumentation: The singing stretched its compasses, and the original wooden boxes were replaced by cylindrical membranophonic drums made of wood, with goat- or cow-skin heads. These drums were called tumba, llamador, and quinto. One of guaguanc6's most prominent composers was Alberto Zayas Govin, known as "El Melodioso" (The Melodious One). Although a native of Matanzas, he grew up in Havana and became an expert in the field after dedicating himself to extensive research on Afro-Cuban rhythms. During the 1950s, Zayas, in collaboration with Ignacio Pineiro, Rafael Ortiz, and renowned musicologist Odilio Urfe, invited Carlos Embale to record guaguanc6s with his Grupo Afrocubano. Embale was already a rising star; he was a prizewinner in the Art's Supreme Court, member of the comparsa La jardinera (Garden Party), and singer in Ignacio Pineiro's Septeto Nacional. Zayas also recorded with other legends such as Alberto Maza, composer of the rumba "El Vive Bien Sopita en Botella" (He Lives Well, Soup in a Bottle), and the great Omo Ana Girardo Rodnguez, teacher of master rumbero Pancho Quinto, another important figure. In the guaguanc6, the female dancer has to be attentive and protective to avoid being uacunada (literally, "vaccinated"). This seduction or fertility dance is the dynamic pursuit of the hen by the cock, a sensuous competition between the female's skilled flirtation and the male's surprising uacunado steps, the symbolic gesture of sexual possession. Dancing, he is trying to "win her"; if he fails, another dancer will take the floor with the same intention. During the 1950s, the rumba took place in city solares (working-class living compounds with a central patio) and in centrales azucareros (sugar refineries) of the muelles (ports). Among the most popular were "El Africa," "Los Barracones," "El Reberbero," and in Matanzas, "El Festejo." Solares were, and some still are, places inhabited by gente sen cilia (common people), where everybody knows each other and rumba is the most appropriated form





of entertainment to play and dance to forget their pain-"para olvidar sus penas." Their rumba compositions served as political and social chronicles. In 1952, a group of friends from the Matanzas neighborhood La Marina used to listen to records at the El Gallo bar until they formalized their spontaneous artistic interaction into the rumba ensemble Guaguanco Matancero. The experienced Florencio Calle Catalino, known as Mulense, directed the group, composed of Esteban Lantri "Saldiguera," Esteban Bacallao, Gregorio Diaz, Pablo and Juan Mesa, Angel Pellado, and Hortencio Alfonso "Vir", ulilla." They performed in the celebrations of the Marina and Simpson neighborhoods as well as in Havana with important orchestras such as the Orquesta Aragon and Arcana y sus Maravillas. They participated on radio and TV programs with the recording label Puchito in 1953 and 1955; then with Panart in 1954. The contents of their first 78 rpm record in 1954 were the guaguanc6 "Los Beodos" (The Drunks) on one side and "Los Mufiequitos" (The DoUs) on the other. "Los Mufiequitos" narrated the stories of characters from the weekend comic strips of the Nation newspaper. This number, popular through every jukebox in Matanzas and Havana, became such a national hit that people began to identify them as "Los Mufiequitos de Matanzas," a name they decided to retain and that gained international recognition. These recordings also established their rumba style, which was eventually generalized as characteristic of the Matanzas region. In 1947 at a different location in the hemisphere, Luciano Chana "Pozo introduced the tumbadora for the first time to the U.S. jazz scene through his collaboration with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Experimenting with the various roots of the African diaspora, they created the intersection between Afro-Cuban rhythmic forms and this U.S. native form. Jazz became the musical location in which other important rumberos such as Mongo Santamaria, Candido Camero, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, julito Collazo, Virgilio Marti, Francisco Aguabella, Daniel "el paisa" Ponce, Orlando "Puntilla" Rios, and Eugenio "Totico" Arango eventually met outside Cuba in subsequent decades. . In 1951, Arsenio Rodriguez established himself in New York. He was already internationally known for having revolutionized the music scene in the late 1930s by introducing a piano, three trumpets, tumbadora, and a new repertoire to the Cuban form known as conjunto. Conjunto music eventually became fundamental in the international craze of the Cuban "son period. The son soon conflated into rumba's bastardization known then within the cabaret and casino context as "rhumba." Rodriguez's introduction of the tumbadora (known as conga) became a trend in the performance of future musical movements such as guaracha, "bolero, and "mambo. However, what became his signature was his performance of the tres, a stringed instrument that uses three sets of double or triple strings. It is considered a native synthesis of Cuba's Spanish and African cultural heritage. Rodriguez incorporated the rhythms of rumba's quinto (the high-pitch solo drum) into his





olvidar sus chronicles. La Marina their sponMatancero. directed the lao, Gregofonso "Virid Simpson such as the ed on radio 1955; then 1954 were Los Mufiete stories of paper. This na, became vlunequitos Iternational which was lana "Pozo ne through 19 with the on between me the mungo Santazo, Virgilio "Puntilla" ra in subse. He was alscene in the and new isic eventu.n *Sbn pethen within :i10n of the :e of future vever, what instrument native synez incorpon) into his


performance of the tres. This is not a coincidence; Rodriguez was born in 1911 in Matanzas province, and many of his generation were the grandchildren of slaves, and his grandfather was from the Congo. He became blind at the age of seven, but he learned the secrets of the drum through his tamborero uncle Guigo, who was part of the Matanzas genealogy of rumba masters such as Malanga, Tanganica, Mulense, and Andrea Baro, Rodriguez had also learned to play other African-derived bass instruments, such as the marimbula (a wooden box fitted with metal prongs), the botija (a blown jug), and the tingo talango (a stick with a metal string). These instruments were essential in rumba. Some of Rodriguez's rumba-related numbers are "MuIence," which narrated a dispute between the two famous rumberos, "Mulence" and "Manana," and many others related to the rumba-rich "barrios (neighborhoods), such as "Buena Vista en Guaguanco" (Nice View in Guaguanc6) and "Juventud the Cayo Hueso" (Key West Youth). Rodriguez'S virtuosity became a legacy in Cuban music and the world's, embedded in son, across jazz, and remaining in "salsa. One of the reasons that rumba found another home in New York with the "Borictia people is because Puerto Rico's "bomba music is also of Bantu and Dahomey origin. The Puertorican and Nuyorican community has assimilated the form with their own style and grace. During the mid-1950s, the master Tito "Puente was one of 'its most important contributors. His Cuban contemporary Mario "Bauza was another important contributor of the time, along with "Machito and his Afro-Cubans. Since the late 1970s, and at the grassroots level, producer and historian Rene Lopez has maintained an important connection with Cuba. He traveled there and informally recorded rumbas with the help of Jesus Blanco Aguilar and Odilio Urfe, Lopez recorded his "great heroes," Los Mufiequitos de Matanzas. Lopez shared his recordings and experiences with New York musicians of the caliber of Andy and Jerry Gonzalez, Milton Cardona, Frankie Rodriquez, Gene Golden, and others who eventually became the Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino. They also had started their New York City rumba journey with figures like Patato Valdes and Julito Collazo. Other younger musicians such as Eddy Bobbe, Eddy Rodriguez, and Felix Sanabria also continued learning from Lopez's tapes and the circulating records of the timethose of Los Mufiequitos and Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria's. Mongo arrived in New York in 1950 and recorded the albums Chango Afro-Cuban Drums and Yambu. The Grupo Folklorico served as an important source for rumba's contemporary movement and "Latin jazz in New York as well as in Havana. Subsequent Nuyorican generations of "becoming rumberos" continued practicing in their homes and the public places where they gathered. Patato Valdes-in spite of being a well-established musician-always visited Central Park and played with rumba's up-and-coming generations. Valdes was already known in Cuba for inventing the tonable tumbadora, the tumbadora with a tuning system based on a metal head rim, hooked bolts, and










tensioning legs. The rumbas in Central Park, Prospect Park, and Orchard Beach, as well as on street corners and in local bars of the Bronx, El Barrio (Spanish Harlem), and Loisaida (the Lower. East Side and Alphabet City), became trademark of New York City'S Afro-Latin diaspora. By 1962 in Havana, the Ballet Folk16rico Nacional, directed by Martha Blanco, opened its doors. The goal of this company was to maintain and sustain the essential African presence in Cuban culture through its artistic practice and oral tradition transmitted through generations from the original sources. The founding consultant was musicologist Rogelio Martinez Fure; Mexican Rodol£o Reyes was the choreographer; and the set designer was Salvador Fernandez. They collaborated with many respected musicians and dancers. Of the 400 people who auditioned, a total 56 dancers, singers, and musicians were selected. The ballet's rumba component was interpreted by Luis "Aspirina" Chacon and Justo and Gabriel Pelladito on the quinto; Ramiro Hernandez, Jesus Perez, and Felipe Alfonso on tumbador; Alfonso Aldama on tres golpes; and Emilio O'Farrill on palitos or cata. The singers were Trinidad Torregrosa and Nieves Fresneda; the dancers were Manuela Alonso, Orlando Lopez, and Zenaida and Ramiro Hernandez. The rumba columbia dancers were Gabriel Pelladito, Ricardo Gomez, Orlando Lopez, and Luis "Aspirina" Chac6n. The columbia singer was Mario Dreke Chavalonga, known as the "Tenor of the rumba" and member of the legendary rumba family whose father was "Perico" and whose brothers were "Curvo" and Enrique "Kiki" Chavalonga. In 1980, Kiki arrived in New York City and had become famous by 1981 for his dangerous and acrobatic choreography in the local rumba group Chevere Macunchevere, formed in September 1980. The Chavalonga family is from the Atares, a famous neighborhood and mecca of rumberos such as Gonzalo Asencio, known as el Tio Tom. Apart from Mulense, Asencio is considered the most prolific rumba composer of his times for his over 200 rumbas, including the controversial "A donde estan los Cubanos?" (Where Are the Cubans?), "Mi Tierra" (My Land), "No Me . Culpes A Mi" (Don't Blame Me, sung by Roberto Maza), and his first composition, "Mujer de Cabaret" (Cabaret Woman). The authors and dates of many compositions are unknown because the lyrics are orally transmitted, reorganized in their daily performance, and maintained via collective memory. From the 1960s on, rumba became the base for the elaboration of different styles and new rhythms, allowing each group to. create their particular characteristics. In Havana, Papin and his rumberos, later known as Los Papines, presented the duet of Fijo and Alejo interpreting Spanish-style songs. Rumba influenced rhythms such as Pello el Afrokan's "Mozambique," Guanabacoaense Luis "Aspirina" Chacon's "Xicamale," Tato's rhythm guapard from the La Perla neighborhood, and johnson's guaguanco with guitar from the El Cerro neighborhood. In Matanzas in 1957, Francisco "Minini"



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Zamora founded Afrocuba de Matanzas, and in the early 1970s Los Mufiequitos reappeared with an elaborated work of voices and percussion that they keep renovating to the present. Rumba in the diaspora, however, marked New York City's music history while it simultaneously revitalized itself with the various Cuban "immigrations, particularly the 1980 "Mariel boatlift" (see Marielitos). In addition, there has been an ongoing arrival of already established professional rumberos who decided to continue their musical experimentation abroad. The boat lift introduced to New York rumberos such as Manuel Martinez Olivera, El Llanero (The Lone Ranger); El Tao la Onda (The Wave of Tao), Daniel Ponce; Orlando "Puntilla" Rios; and Xiomara Rodriguez. EI Llanero-Patato Valdes's cousin-contributed to the existing New York City rumba scene with his deep understanding of the strict rules of dave in relationship to singing and the improvisational performance of the quinto. Ruben Gonzalez, known as El Tao la Onda, arrived with his extensive repertoire of original compositions including the popular "La Habana' (interpreted by Yoruba Andabo in the 2002 CD La Rumba Soy Yo and awarded the Latin Grammy). Rodriguez has dedicated her life to teaching the dances of rumba and the Cuban religious pantheon. During the late 1950s Patato Valdes and Eugenio "Totico" Arango had already recorded in the United States with Virgilio Marti the rumba classic "Llego Superman Bailando el Guaguanc6" (Superman Arrived Dancing the Guaguanc6); in 1983, Orlando "Puntilla" Rios recorded with Totico, Abraham Rodriguez, Andy Gonzalez, and Encarnaci6n Perez another u.S. classic, "What's Your Name?"-a rumba adaptation of the famous 1950s doc-wop by Don & Juan. In 1?86 Puntilla also came up with his record Puntilla from La Habana to New York, with its classic "Rumba para Elegua." Daniel Ponce, who collaborated with Puntilla, also produced two crucial records for the rumba/Latin jazz collection, "New York Nowl" and "Chango Te Llama" (Chango Calls), while introducing rumba into the avant-garde art scene via his collaboration with performance artist Laurie Anderson. Guarapachanguero During the late 1970s, the guaguanc6 in Havana took a different direction. A new rumba movement was being created in the La Korea neighborhood, baptized by the same Manuel "El Llanero" Martinez as guarapachanguero but invented by his neighbors, the L6pez brothers, "Los Chinitos," One of the brothers, Irian, designed the popular cajon (wood box) known as the raspadura, a large wood box with a pyramid shape. This new style and instrumentation of complicated syncopation and countertimes became popular only in the early 1980s because of the event that took place in Havana's Peruvian embassy, precipitating the great exodus from the Bay of Mariel. Becoming soon controversial, notorious rumberos, such as Jacinto



Scull Castillo "El Cheri," Juan de Dios Ramos, the Figueroa brothers, who organized a known peiia (public gathering place located at Calzada de Luwiano), and others, defied the so-called traditionalists and spread the new rhythm through the city. Indeed, Maximino Duquesne, Marquito Herminio Diaz, and the Jegendary Francisco Hernandez Mora (Pancho Quinto) can be considered guarapachanguero's godfathers. Quinto, founder of the prestigious group Yoruba Andabo, used the sound of the old caj6n (wood box) as rhythmic base but toned them, respectively, as the tumbador, tres go/pes, and quinto, all added to the rest of rumba's original instruments: clave, catd, and cbequere. Thus Quinto's virtuosity and Chori's flavor conveyed the guarapachanguero into the group's rhythmic signature. The original voices of Yomba Andabo were (the now deceased) composer Calixto Callava, Pedro Farinas, Guillermo "El Negro" Triana, Juan "Chan" Campos, and Giovanni del Pino, who stayed as the director. In 1954, Miguel Angel "Aspirina" Mesa Cruz (born in Guanabacoa on June 7, 1926) founded the Conjunto Clave y Guaguanco with the involvement of Argeliers de Leon and under the direction of Mario Galan. The first singer was Agustin Pina, better known as "Flor de Arnor" (Flower of Love), with Rolando, known as "Malanga," and Agustin Gutierrez. "El Pequi" danced with Angelita Valdez, who also was the voice prima. (In rumba, singing duets are performed in voice prima and segunda [prime and second voices].) When Galan passed away, Miguel Chapotin (currently singing with Yoruba Andabo) became the director. Clave y Guaguanco maintained the original format (two wood boxes, one tumbador and quinto) until Amado de Deus became the director. De Deus incorporated the new guarapachanguero current with its original instruments, the cajones raspaduras. The guarapachanguero has become a generalized movement among the youngest generations. However, its creators=Los Chinitos-had their own particular style, and in Yoruba Andabo, Quinto added to the form three batd drums, while El Chori (from the same group) mixed the base of the tres golpes drum with open movements in a separate drum. In other words, in the guarapachanguero, the rumba movement traditionally performed in one tres-dos drum was split into two drums: The base wood box drum was used for the base part of the phrase, while a tres-dos drum was used for the open sounds. This combination resulted in the enrichment of the full tres-dos movement. Orlando Lage "Palito" from the same group would play simultaneously two quintos, one, a wood box, and the other, a membraphonic quinto. All these sounds fall into Quinto's left-hand rhythm using a cuchara (spoon) and creating a complicated polyrhythmic dynamic. Indeed, the guarapachanguero had revolted into the African logic of reemphazising the lower drum base interpreted within this context in its wood box version. This dynamic had been, and remains, a controversy among rumberos because it does not prioritize the quinto drum as the unique solo drum. The guarapachanguero emphasizes the base sound, the tumbadora box improvisation-but maintaining its dialogue





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with the quinto. Furthermore, the role of each instrument is performed in two percussive versions, the rnembraphoic drum and the wood box of both: the quinto and the tumbador. Within the guarapachanguero quinto-tumbador conversation, there exists an influence from the conversation between the batos-Itotele, Iya, and Okonkolo-because Quinto's virtuoso polyrhythmic style is founded on his deep knowledge about improvisation with the bata drums. Maximino's style, on the other hand, is based on his experience and deep knowledge of the caja; the tumbadora drum is dedicated to improvising . in bembes (Cuban rhythm used in Santerfa) or guiros. This particular drum is also called a caja in other Cuban religious genres such as Palo and Makumba. It is the conversation between the quinto and the tumbadora or caja and the cajon that creates guarapachanguero's jazz atmosphere based on improvisation over the same melody; in this context the singer provides the melody. The tres-dos (or tres-golpes) drum and music phrase (or movement) has historically identified the guaguanco. In the guarapachanguero, the tresdos can be performed in different places within the clave's phrase. The musician's individual knowledge and control of the tres-dos is what helps his/her improvisation and his/her ability of execution in the different sounds of the drum: the low, the open, the slap called tapado, and the pressured moff called the presionado sound. In the guarapachanguero, the function of the tres-dos is internalized: el tres-dos puede no verse pero siempre sentirse (the three-two may not be seen, but it is always felt). Columbia According to tradition, columbia is a style born in the countryside, the rural areas located in the Matanzas and surrounding provinces such as Union de Reyes, Jovellanos, and Colon. Oral history has it that in 1880 the first columbia songs were performed in a caserlo (village) named Columbia located between Sabanilla and Union de Reyes. However, it is in 1917 that the so-called inuacum de los rumberos (the rumberos' invasion) took place during the sugar season in these regions when famous rumberos from all over the country-such as the great Malanga from Sabanilla de Comendador, in Union de Reyes-traveled the island in search of employment. After their arduous labor, they competed 'among themselves, elaborating complicated dance steps that demonstrated their ability as columbia dancers. The dancer uses his steps to communicate with the quinto drum percussionist, who is equally improvising in relationship to the dancer's steps-"el baile es sacar chispa del suelo" (the dance is to make the floor spark). This communication between the columbiana and the quinto soloist is also prevalent in Cuban ceremonial African practices such as the Abakua's with its Ireme dancing to the Bonko Echemiya drum. The columbianos' figures range from the playful mimetic gesture of playing pelota (baseball) to highly acrobatic jumps and splits. Older dance traditions such as that of Bantu roots Mani were quite famous among slave owners, who originally organized these galas. It


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: the audience r! Maria Cartera de Pueblo he three great ese comparsas esidential Tri:ed. Carnival's ; been the As'eros). As they ~ (likewise we mia in rumba aa, Palo Mayies is the curs Chac6n has I the style of percussion, ~lMesa Cruz, ro mayor (the are his highimas in Spanr is the motor I the opening t has been es.dlor decimas. eek U.S. tour, o dhe. They Q.bdisc label. riana, Lazaro 1, among othinto's experispace of the World Music us Diaz, and . West Coast

rumba scene with diverse projects and collaborations with Cuban musicians from the island (like Regino Jimenez and Lazaro Ross) and those in the diasp ora like Roberto Borrel. Another classic for the record is Rapsodia Rumbera (Rumba Rhapsody), produced by Gregorio "Goyo" Hernandez under the Cuban label Egrem. Also, under Goyo's musical direction and production (with Helio Orovio's supervision under Unicornio's Cuban label), the CD La Rumba es Cubana Su Historia (The Rumba Is Cuban History) includes a broad range of rumba generations such as the great Mario Alfonso Dreke "Chavalonga" and Abreu, the Chinitos' guarapachanguero, and female legends Guillermina Z. Armenteros and Zuzana "Beba" Calzado. Peiias During the late 1980s and on, the peiias became popular public places in Havanato dance and hear rumba performed by recognized groups. Peiias in Cuba (related but not the same as those historical ones from the 1960s in Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina) are usually cultural events that take place during the early part of the evening, mostly during the weekend and within small cabarets and houses of culture. The Conjunto Folklorico.Nacional has an important role in this history since it organized the known Sabado de la Rumba (Saturday's Rumba) in its Vedado locale. This peiia generated energy for one on Tuesdays at EI Licea de la Habana Vieja, under the direction of Andres Bayoya, whose commitment to rumba and the organization of street musical events made the carnival's commission classify as "Bayoya" the percussion orchestra that parades with the traditional comparsas in Havana's carnival. While in Cuba, Daniel Ponce was a member of El Liceo de la Habanera Vieja (The School of Old Havana). These events open the space to what we now know as rumba peiias. The casas de la cultura (neighborhood cultural associations or houses) collaborated on the organization of rumba festivals in centro Havana and la Habana vieja.where the legendary rumbero Julio Cesar "Wuasamba" (inventor of the wuasamba rhythm) also assimilated the guarapachanguero rhythm. His friend, another prestigious rumbero, Evaristo Aparicio, known as "El Picaro," was the founder of the group Papa Kun Kun and the composer of musical numbers such as "Si a una mamita," interpreted by classic Puertorican bands such as Batacumbele . Yoruba Andabo's peiia came with Eloy Machado, the rumba poet known as "EI ambia" who during the 1988-1989 carnivals made the event "El solar del ambia:' After the carnival his event was institutionalized in the Jardines de la UNIAC (the garden of the Union Nacional de Artistas Cubanos), becoming a point of departure for various prestigious and young groups. Another fighter against prejudice is Salvador Gonzalez, responsible for the peiia and gallery Callejon de Hamel located in Cayo Hueso's neighborhood and inaugurated by Merceditas Valdez and Yoruba Andabo on April 21, 1990. But the rumba peiia concept has traveled, its most representative U.S. destination being Union City, New Jersey. La Esquina Habanera has become the




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meeting place par excellence for rumberos and rumberas touring, arriving, and living in the United States. Its hosting group, Rakes Habaneras, was nominated for the 2003 Latin Grammy. The owner of La Esquina is Tony Sequeira, and he founded the group on March 23, 1996, with David Oquendo as music director. The Esquina Habanera keeps reenergizing itself with the arrival and integration of more professional rumberoslas from Cuba such as Frank Bell, Pedro Pablo Martinez, Roman Diaz, and many more. Rumba is an everyday practice, a secular but spiritual collective experience, a happening. Rumba rejuvenates itself in its own performance; it changes and transforms as it fuses with other rhythms. It is a genre that remains attractive not only to Cubans of all ages but Latinos in general-whose native rhythms, in one way or another, imply African influences. Europeans and Asians also travel yearly to Cuba to collaborate and learn with the Conjunto Folk16rico Nacional and the Escuela Nacional de Arte, Rumba's many living legends are committed to sharing their deep knowledge with the musicians, dancers, and academics of the world.
Further Reading Acosta, Leonardo. Del Tambor al Sintetizador, Havana, Cuba: Letras Cubanas, 1983. Acosta, Leonardo. "The Problem of Music and Its Dissemination in Cuba." In Essays on Cuban' Music, edited by Peter Manuel. New York: University Press of America, 1991. Acosta, Leonardo. "The Rumba, the Guaguanco, and TiD Tom." In Essays on Cuban Music, edited by Peter Manuel. New York: University Press of America, 1991. Carpentier, Alejo. La MUsica en Cuba. Mexico City: Fondo 'de Cultura Economica, 1993. Castellanos, Isabel, and Jorge Castellanos. Letras, Musica, Arte. Vol. 4 of Cultura Afro-Cubana. Miami, FL: Ediciones Universal, 1994. Crook, Larry. "A Musical Analysis of the Cuban Rumba." Latin American Music Review (Austin) 3.1 (1982): 92-123. Daniel, Yvonne. Rumba: Dance and Social Change in Contemporary Cuba. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. Diaz-Ayala, Cristobal. Musica Cubana del Areyto a fa Nueva Trova. 2nd ed. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Editoria Cubanacan, 1981. Fraginals, Manuel Moreno. Aportes Culturales y Deculturaci6n: Africa en America Latina. Mexico City: Sigle Veintiuno Editores, 1977. Fraginals, Manuel Moreno. El Ingenio. Havana, Cuba: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1978. Leon, Argeliers. Del Canto y el Tiempo, 4th ed. Havana, Cuba: Ed. Pueblo y Educacion, 1989. Leon, Argeliers, Musica Folkl6rica Cubana. Havana, Cuba: Ediciones del Departamento de musica de la Biblioteca Nacional "Jose Marti," 1964. Linares, Maria Teresa. "Hoy Iii rumba." Reuista de Salsa Cubana 17 (2002). Manuel, Peter. Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1995.



arriving, Habaneras, was Esquina is Tony 96, with David eenergizing itself 'as/as from Cuba d many more. ·:ollective experiperformance; it genre that general-whose nees. Europeans 11 with the Con. Rumba's many ge with the mu:ouring,



Martinez Fure, Rogelio. Conjunto Folklorieo Nadonal (first catalogue). Havana, Cuba: Ed. Consejo Nacional de Cultura, 1963. Maule6n, Rebecca. Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble. Petaluma, CA: Sher Music Co., 1993. Mendez, Alina. "Arsenio Rodriguez, ~D6nde Estan Tus Maravillas?" La Gaceta de Cuba 5 (September-October 1998). Moore, Robin. "The Commercial Rumba: Afrocuban Arts as International Popular Culture." Latin American Music Review 16.2 (Fall-Winter 1995): 164-198. Orovio, Helio. Diccionario de la Musiea Cabana: Biogrdfico y Tecnico. Havana, Cuba: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1981. Ortiz, Fernando. La Africania de la Musiea Folk16rica de Cuba. Havana, Cuba: Letras Cubanas, 1993. Ortiz, Fernando. Los Bailes y el Teatro de los Negros en el Folklore de Cuba. Havana, Cuba: Letras Cubanas, 1981. Pefialver Moral, Reinaldo. "Rumba Contra el Sedentarismo." Bohemia 40 (October 1, 1974). Roberts, John Storm. The Latin Tinge: the Impact of Latin American Music on the United States, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.



Roman Dfaz and Berta Palenzuela Jottar

Cuba." In Essays niversity Press of Essays on Cuban

)f America, 1991.
Irura Economica, {ol. 4 of Cultura American Music

ry Cuba. Bloom)Va. 2nd ed. San


s; America

:::ien~as Sociales, i."Pueblo y Edunes del Departa64 . .7 (2002). nba to Reggae.

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